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1.  Neuroimaging for the Evaluation of Chronic Headaches 
Executive Summary
Objective
The objectives of this evidence based review are:
i) To determine the effectiveness of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in the evaluation of persons with a chronic headache and a normal neurological examination.
ii) To determine the comparative effectiveness of CT and MRI scans for detecting significant intracranial abnormalities in persons with chronic headache and a normal neurological exam.
iii) To determine the budget impact of CT and MRI scans for persons with a chronic headache and a normal neurological exam.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Headaches disorders are generally classified as either primary or secondary with further sub-classifications into specific headache types. Primary headaches are those not caused by a disease or medical condition and include i) tension-type headache, ii) migraine, iii) cluster headache and, iv) other primary headaches, such as hemicrania continua and new daily persistent headache. Secondary headaches include those headaches caused by an underlying medical condition. While primary headaches disorders are far more frequent than secondary headache disorders, there is an urge to carry out neuroimaging studies (CT and/or MRI scans) out of fear of missing uncommon secondary causes and often to relieve patient anxiety.
Tension type headaches are the most common primary headache disorder and migraines are the most common severe primary headache disorder. Cluster headaches are a type of trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia and are less common than migraines and tension type headaches. Chronic headaches are defined as headaches present for at least 3 months and lasting greater than or equal to 15 days per month. The International Classification of Headache Disorders states that for most secondary headaches the characteristics of the headache are poorly described in the literature and for those headache disorders where it is well described there are few diagnostically important features.
The global prevalence of headache in general in the adult population is estimated at 46%, for tension-type headache it is 42% and 11% for migraine headache. The estimated prevalence of cluster headaches is 0.1% or 1 in 1000 persons. The prevalence of chronic daily headache is estimated at 3%.
Neuroimaging
Computed Tomography
Computed tomography (CT) is a medical imaging technique used to aid diagnosis and to guide interventional and therapeutic procedures. It allows rapid acquisition of high-resolution three-dimensional images, providing radiologists and other physicians with cross-sectional views of a person’s anatomy. CT scanning poses risk of radiation exposure. The radiation exposure from a conventional CT scanner may emit effective doses of 2-4mSv for a typical head CT.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique used to aid diagnosis but unlike CT it does not use ionizing radiation. Instead, it uses a strong magnetic field to image a person’s anatomy. Compared to CT, MRI can provide increased contrast between the soft tissues of the body. Because of the persistent magnetic field, extra care is required in the magnetic resonance environment to ensure that injury or harm does not come to any personnel while in the environment.
Research Questions
What is the effectiveness of CT and MRI scanning in the evaluation of persons with a chronic headache and a normal neurological examination?
What is the comparative effectiveness of CT and MRI scanning for detecting significant intracranial abnormality in persons with chronic headache and a normal neurological exam?
What is the budget impact of CT and MRI scans for persons with a chronic headache and a normal neurological exam.
Research Methods
Literature Search
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on February 18, 2010 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January, 2005 to February, 2010. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with an unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist and then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established.
Inclusion Criteria
Systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, observational studies
Outpatient adult population with chronic headache and normal neurological exam
Studies reporting likelihood ratio of clinical variables for a significant intracranial abnormality
English language studies
2005-present
Exclusion Criteria
Studies which report outcomes for persons with seizures, focal symptoms, recent/new onset headache, change in presentation, thunderclap headache, and headache due to trauma
Persons with abnormal neurological examination
Case reports
Outcomes of Interest
Primary Outcome
Probability for intracranial abnormality
Secondary Outcome
Patient relief from anxiety
System service use
System costs
Detection rates for significant abnormalities in MRI and CT scans
Summary of Findings
Effectiveness
One systematic review, 1 small RCT, and 1 observational study met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The systematic review completed by Detsky, et al. reported the likelihood ratios of specific clinical variables to predict significant intracranial abnormalities. The RCT completed by Howard et al., evaluated whether neuroimaging persons with chronic headache increased or reduced patient anxiety. The prospective observational study by Sempere et al., provided evidence for the pre-test probability of intracranial abnormalities in persons with chronic headache as well as minimal data on the comparative effectiveness of CT and MRI to detect intracranial abnormalities.
Outcome 1: Pre-test Probability.
The pre-test probability is usually related to the prevalence of the disease and can be adjusted depending on the characteristics of the population. The study by Sempere et al. determined the pre-test probability (prevalence) of significant intracranial abnormalities in persons with chronic headaches defined as headache experienced for at least a 4 week duration with a normal neurological exam. There is a pre-test probability of 0.9% (95% CI 0.5, 1.4) in persons with chronic headache and normal neurological exam. The highest pre-test probability of 5 found in persons with cluster headaches. The second highest, that of 3.7, was reported in persons with indeterminate type headache. There was a 0.75% rate of incidental findings.
Likelihood ratios for detecting a significant abnormality
Clinical findings from the history and physical may be used as screening test to predict abnormalities on neuroimaging. The extent to which the clinical variable may be a good predictive variable can be captured by reporting its likelihood ratio. The likelihood ratio provides an estimate of how much a test result will change the odds of having a disease or condition. The positive likelihood ratio (LR+) tells you how much the odds of having the disease increases when a test is positive. The negative likelihood ratio (LR-) tells you how much the odds of having the disease decreases when the test is negative.
Detsky et al., determined the likelihood ratio for specific clinical variable from 11 studies. There were 4 clinical variables with both statistically significant positive and negative likelihood ratios. These included: abnormal neurological exam (LR+ 5.3, LR- 0.72), undefined headache (LR+ 3.8, LR- 0.66), headache aggravated by exertion or valsalva (LR+ 2.3, LR- 0.70), and headache with vomiting (LR+ 1.8, and LR- 0.47). There were two clinical variables with a statistically significant positive likelihood ratio and non significant negative likelihood ratio. These included: cluster-type headache (LR+ 11, LR- 0.95), and headache with aura (LR+ 12.9, LR- 0.52). Finally, there were 8 clinical variables with both statistically non significant positive and negative likelihood ratios. These included: headache with focal symptoms, new onset headache, quick onset headache, worsening headache, male gender, headache with nausea, increased headache severity, and migraine type headache.
Outcome 2: Relief from Anxiety
Howard et al. completed an RCT of 150 persons to determine if neuroimaging for headaches was anxiolytic or anxiogenic. Persons were randomized to receiving either an MRI scan or no scan for investigation of their headache. The study population was stratified into those persons with a Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS) > 11 (the high anxiety and depression group) and those < 11 (the low anxiety and depression) so that there were 4 groups:
Group 1: High anxiety and depression, no scan group
Group 2: High anxiety and depression, scan group
Group 3: Low anxiety and depression, no scan group
Group 4: Low anxiety and depression, scan group
Anxiety
There was no evidence for any overall reduction in anxiety at 1 year as measured by a visual analogue scale of ‘level of worry’ when analysed by whether the person received a scan or not. Similarly, there was no interaction between anxiety and depression status and whether a scan was offered or not on patient anxiety. Anxiety did not decrease at 1 year to any statistically significant degree in the high anxiety and depression group (HADS positive) compared with the low anxiety and depression group (HADS negative).
There are serious methodological limitations in this study design which may have contributed to these negative results. First, when considering the comparison of ‘scan’ vs. ‘no scan’ groups, 12 people (16%) in the ‘no scan group’ actually received a scan within the follow up year. If indeed scanning does reduce anxiety then this contamination of the ‘no scan’ group may have reduced the effect between the groups results resulting in a non significant difference in anxiety scores between the ‘scanned’ and the ‘no scan’ group. Second, there was an inadequate sample size at 1 year follow up in each of the 4 groups which may have contributed to a Type II statistical error (missing a difference when one may exist) when comparing scan vs. no scan by anxiety and depression status. Therefore, based on the results and study limitations it is inconclusive as to whether scanning reduces anxiety.
Outcome 3: System Services
Howard et al., considered services used and system costs a secondary outcome. These were determined by examining primary care case notes at 1 year for consultation rates, symptoms, further investigations, and contact with secondary and tertiary care.
System Services
The authors report that the use of neurologist and psychiatrist services was significantly higher for those persons not offered as scan, regardless of their anxiety and depression status (P<0.001 for neurologist, and P=0.033 for psychiatrist)
Outcome 4: System Costs
System Costs
There was evidence of statistically significantly lower system costs if persons with high levels of anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale score >11) were provided with a scan (P=0.03 including inpatient costs, and 0.047 excluding inpatient costs).
Comparative Effectiveness of CT and MRI Scans
One study reported the detection rate for significant intracranial abnormalities using CT and MRI. In a cohort of 1876 persons with a non acute headache defined as any type of headache that had begun at least 4 weeks before enrolment Sempere et al. reported that the detection rate was 19/1432 (1.3%) using CT and 4/444 (0.9%) using MRI. Of 119 normal CT scans 2 (1.7%) had significant intracranial abnormality on MRI. The 2 cases were a small meningioma, and an acoustic neurinoma.
Summary
The evidence presented can be summarized as follows:
Pre-test Probability
Based on the results by Sempere et al., there is a low pre-test probability for intracranial abnormalities in persons with chronic headaches and a normal neurological exam (defined as headaches experiences for a minimum of 4 weeks). The Grade quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low.
Likelihood Ratios
Based on the systematic review by Detsky et al., there is a statistically significant positive and negative likelihood ratio for the following clinical variables: abnormal neurological exam, undefined headache, headache aggravated by exertion or valsalva, headache with vomiting. Grade quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low.
Based on the systematic review by Detsky et al. there is a statistically significant positive likelihood ratio but non statistically significant negative likelihood ratio for the following clinical variables: cluster headache and headache with aura. The Grade quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low.
Based on the systematic review by Detsky et al., there is a non significant positive and negative likelihood ratio for the following clinical variables: headache with focal symptoms, new onset headache, quick onset headache, worsening headache, male gender, headache with nausea, increased headache severity, migraine type headache. The Grade quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low.
Relief from Anxiety
Based on the RCT by Howard et al., it is inconclusive whether neuroimaging scans in persons with a chronic headache are anxiolytic. The Grade quality of evidence supporting this outcome is low.
System Services
Based on the RCT by Howard et al. scanning persons with chronic headache regardless of their anxiety and/or depression level reduces service use. The Grade quality of evidence is low.
System Costs
Based on the RCT by Howard et al., scanning persons with a score greater than 11 on the High Anxiety and Depression Scale reduces system costs. The Grade quality of evidence is moderate.
Comparative Effectiveness of CT and MRI Scans
There is sparse evidence to determine the relative effectiveness of CT compared with MRI scanning for the detection of intracranial abnormalities. The Grade quality of evidence supporting this is very low.
Economic Analysis
Ontario Perspective
Volumes for neuroimaging of the head i.e. CT and MRI scans, from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) data set were used to investigate trends in the province for Fiscal Years (FY) 2004-2009.
Assumptions were made in order to investigate neuroimaging of the head for the indication of headache. From the literature, 27% of all CT and 13% of all MRI scans for the head were assumed to include an indication of headache. From that same retrospective chart review and personal communication with the author 16% of CT scans and 4% of MRI scans for the head were for the sole indication of headache. From the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) wait times data, 73% of all CT and 93% of all MRI scans in the province, irrespective of indication were outpatient procedures.
The expenditure for each FY reflects the volume for that year and since volumes have increased in the past 6 FYs, the expenditure has also increased with a pay-out reaching 3.0M and 2.8M for CT and MRI services of the head respectively for the indication of headache and a pay-out reaching 1.8M and 0.9M for CT and MRI services of the head respectively for the indication of headache only in FY 08/09.
Cost per Abnormal Finding
The yield of abnormal finding for a CT and MRI scan of the head for the indication of headache only is 2% and 5% respectively. Based on these yield a high-level estimate of the cost per abnormal finding with neuroimaging of the head for headache only can be calculated for each FY. In FY 08/09 there were 37,434 CT and 16,197 MRI scans of the head for headache only. These volumes would generate a yield of abnormal finding of 749 and 910 with a CT scan and MRI scan respectively. The expenditure for FY 08/09 was 1.8M and 0.9M for CT and MRI services respectively. Therefore the cost per abnormal finding would be $2,409 for CT and $957 for MRI. These cost per abnormal finding estimates were limited because they did not factor in comparators or the consequences associated with an abnormal reading or FNs. The estimates only consider the cost of the neuroimaging procedure and the yield of abnormal finding with the respective procedure.
PMCID: PMC3377587  PMID: 23074404
2.  The validity of the diagnosis of depression in general practice: is using criteria for diagnosis as a routine the answer? 
BACKGROUND: In general practice, making a diagnosis does not follow the same lines as in secondary care because every new diagnosis is made against 'foreknowledge' and could be coloured by it. This could explain low accordance and differences in diagnoses between primary and secondary care, in particular when mental illness such as depression is concerned. When criteria are used for diagnosis there should be no differences. AIM: To establish the accordance with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) criteria of major depressive disorder when the diagnosis of depression has been made by general practitioners (GPs) for whom coding and using criteria for diagnosis is a daily routine (ICHPPC-2 criteria). METHOD: Ninety-nine general practice patients from four general practices belonging to the Continuous Morbidity Registry (CMR) of the University of Nijmegen in The Netherlands were interviewed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (auto) 12-month version (DSM-IV criteria). Thirty-three patients had a code for depression; 33 patients a code for chronic nervous functional complaints (CNFC); and 33 had no code for mental illness (the depression and CNFC codes were given in the 12 months prior to the interview). Specificity and accordance with the DSM-IV criteria of major depressive disorder (MDD) were calculated with the results from the interviews. RESULTS: Of the 33 general practice depression cases (all matching ICHPPC-2 criteria), 28 matched DSM-IV criteria: 26 for MDD and 2 for dysthymia. No cases of DSM-IV MDD were found in the control group without a code for a mental disorder, and seven out of 33 were found in the control group with the code for CNFC. CONCLUSION: The specificity of diagnosis of depression made by GPs in a continuous morbidity registry and the accordance with DSM-IV criteria are high. Using criteria for diagnosis, which is a trend, could be one of the solutions towards a better diagnosis. As far as the sensitivity is concerned, GPs should not be distracted from using criteria for the diagnosis of depression when a large variety of complaints is presented.
PMCID: PMC1313675  PMID: 10897511
3.  Migraine may be a risk factor for the development of complex regional pain syndrome 
The aim was to assess the relative frequency of migraine and the headache characteristics of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) sufferers. CRPS and migraine are chronic, often disabling pain syndromes. Recent studies suggest that headache is associated with the development of CRPS. Consecutive adults fulfilling International Association for the Study of Pain criteria for CRPS at a pain clinic were included. Demographics, medical history, and pain characteristics were obtained. Headache diagnoses were made using International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd edn criteria. Migraine and pain characteristics were compared in those with migraine with those without. ANOVA with Tukey post hoc tests was used to determine the significance of continuous variables and Fisher’s exact or χ2 tests for categorical variables. The expected prevalence of migraine and chronic daily headache (CDH) was calculated based on age- and gender-stratified general population estimates. Standardized morbidity ratios (SMR) were calculated by dividing the observed prevalence of migraine by the expected prevalence from the general population. The sample consisted of 124 CRPS participants. The mean age was 45.5 ± 12.0 years. Age-and gender-adjusted SMRs showed that those with CRPS were 3.6 times more likely to have migraine and nearly twice as likely to have CDH as the general population. Aura was reported in 59.7% (74/124) of participants. Of those CRPS sufferers with migraine, 61.2% (41/67) reported the onset of severe headaches before the onset of CRPS symptoms Mean age of onset of CRPS was earlier in those with migraine (34.9 ± 11.1 years) and CDH (32.5 ± 13.4 years) compared with those with no headaches (46.8 ± 14.9 years) and those with tension-type headache (TTH) (39.9 ± 9.9 years), P < 0.05. More extremities were affected by CRPS in participants with migraine (median of four extremities) compared with the combined group of those CRPS sufferers with no headaches or TTH (median 2.0 extremities), P < 0.05. The presence of static, dynamic and deep joint mechanoallodynia together was reported by more CRPS participants with migraine (72.2%) than those with no headaches or TTH (46.2%), P ≤ 0.05. Migraine may be a risk factor for CRPS and the presence of migraine may be associated with a more severe form of CRPS. Specifically: (i) migraine occurs in a greater percentage of CRPS sufferers than expected in the general population; (ii) the onset of CRPS is reported earlier in those with migraine than in those without; and (iii) CRPS symptoms are present in more extremities in those CRPS sufferers with migraine compared with those without. In addition, as we also found that the presence of aura is reported in a higher percentage of those CRPS sufferers with migraine than reported in migraineurs in the general population, further evaluation of the cardiovascular risk profile of CRPS sufferers is warranted.
doi:10.1111/j.1468-2982.2009.01916.x
PMCID: PMC3979276  PMID: 19614690
Migraine; chronic daily headache; complex regional pain syndrome; allodynia; aura
4.  Effect of preventive (β blocker) treatment, behavioural migraine management, or their combination on outcomes of optimised acute treatment in frequent migraine: randomised controlled trial 
Objective To determine if the addition of preventive drug treatment (β blocker), brief behavioural migraine management, or their combination improves the outcome of optimised acute treatment in the management of frequent migraine.
Design Randomised placebo controlled trial over 16 months from July 2001 to November 2005.
Setting Two outpatient sites in Ohio, USA.
Participants 232 adults (mean age 38 years; 79% female) with diagnosis of migraine with or without aura according to International Headache Society classification of headache disorders criteria, who recorded at least three migraines with disability per 30 days (mean 5.5 migraines/30 days), during an optimised run-in of acute treatment.
Interventions Addition of one of four preventive treatments to optimised acute treatment: β blocker (n=53), matched placebo (n=55), behavioural migraine management plus placebo (n=55), or behavioural migraine management plus β blocker (n=69).
Main outcome measure The primary outcome was change in migraines/30 days; secondary outcomes included change in migraine days/30 days and change in migraine specific quality of life scores.
Results Mixed model analysis showed statistically significant (P≤0.05) differences in outcomes among the four added treatments for both the primary outcome (migraines/30 days) and the two secondary outcomes (change in migraine days/30 days and change in migraine specific quality of life scores). The addition of combined β blocker and behavioural migraine management (−3.3 migraines/30 days, 95% confidence interval −3.2 to −3.5), but not the addition of β blocker alone (−2.1 migraines/30 days, −1.9 to −2.2) or behavioural migraine management alone (−2.2 migraines migraines/30 days, −2.0 to −2.4), improved outcomes compared with optimised acute treatment alone (−2.1 migraines/30 days, −1.9 to −2.2). For a clinically significant (≥50% reduction) in migraines/30 days, the number needed to treat for optimised acute treatment plus combined β blocker and behavioural migraine management was 3.1 compared with optimised acute treatment alone, 2.6 compared with optimised acute treatment plus β blocker, and 3.1 compared with optimised acute treatment plus behavioural migraine management. Results were consistent for the two secondary outcomes, and at both month 10 (the primary endpoint) and month 16.
Conclusion The addition of combined β blocker plus behavioural migraine management, but not the addition of β blocker alone or behavioural migraine management alone, improved outcomes of optimised acute treatment. Combined β blocker treatment and behavioural migraine management may improve outcomes in the treatment of frequent migraine.
Trial registration Clinical trials NCT00910689.
doi:10.1136/bmj.c4871
PMCID: PMC2947621  PMID: 20880898
5.  Anatomical Alterations of the Visual Motion Processing Network in Migraine with and without Aura 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(10):e402.
Background
Patients suffering from migraine with aura (MWA) and migraine without aura (MWoA) show abnormalities in visual motion perception during and between attacks. Whether this represents the consequences of structural changes in motion-processing networks in migraineurs is unknown. Moreover, the diagnosis of migraine relies on patient's history, and finding differences in the brain of migraineurs might help to contribute to basic research aimed at better understanding the pathophysiology of migraine.
Methods and Findings
To investigate a common potential anatomical basis for these disturbances, we used high-resolution cortical thickness measurement and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to examine the motion-processing network in 24 migraine patients (12 with MWA and 12 MWoA) and 15 age-matched healthy controls (HCs). We found increased cortical thickness of motion-processing visual areas MT+ and V3A in migraineurs compared to HCs. Cortical thickness increases were accompanied by abnormalities of the subjacent white matter. In addition, DTI revealed that migraineurs have alterations in superior colliculus and the lateral geniculate nucleus, which are also involved in visual processing.
Conclusions
A structural abnormality in the network of motion-processing areas could account for, or be the result of, the cortical hyperexcitability observed in migraineurs. The finding in patients with both MWA and MWoA of thickness abnormalities in area V3A, previously described as a source in spreading changes involved in visual aura, raises the question as to whether a “silent” cortical spreading depression develops as well in MWoA. In addition, these experimental data may provide clinicians and researchers with a noninvasively acquirable migraine biomarker.
A structural abnormality in the network of motion-processing areas could account for, or be the result of, the cortical hyperexcitability seen in people who have migraine.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Migraine is a disabling brain disorder that affects more than one in ten people during their lifetimes. It is characterized by severe, recurrent headaches, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and light sensitivity. In some migraineurs (people who have migraines), the headaches are preceded by neurological disturbances known as “aura.” These usually affect vision, causing illusions of flashing lights, zig-zag lines, or blind spots. There are many triggers for migraine attacks—including some foods, stress, and bright lights—and every migraineur has to learn what triggers his or her attacks. There is no cure for migraine, although over-the-counter painkillers can ease the symptoms and doctors can prescribe stronger remedies or drugs to reduce the frequency of attacks. Exactly what causes migraine is unclear but scientists think that, for some reason, the brains of migraineurs are hyperexcitable. That is, some nerve cells in their brains overreact when they receive electrical messages from the body. This triggers a local disturbance of brain function called “cortical spreading depression,” which, in turn, causes aura, headache, and the other symptoms of migraine.
Why Was This Study Done?
Researchers need to know more about what causes migraine to find better treatments. One clue comes from the observation that motion perception is abnormal in migraineurs, even between attacks—they can be very sensitive to visually induced motion sickness, for example. Another clue is that aura are usually visual. So could brain regions that process visual information be abnormal in people who have migraines? In this study, the researchers investigated the structure of the motion processing parts of the brain in people who have migraine with aura, in people who have migraine without aura, and in unaffected individuals to see whether there were any differences that might help them understand migraine.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used two forms of magnetic resonance imaging—a noninvasive way to produce pictures of internal organs—to examine the brains of migraineurs (when they weren't having a migraine) and healthy controls. They concentrated on two brain regions involved in motion processing known as the MT+ and V3A areas and first measured the cortical thickness of these areas—the cortex is the wrinkled layer of gray matter on the outside of the brain that processes information sent from the body. They found that the cortical thickness was increased in both of these areas in migraineurs when compared to healthy controls. There was no difference in cortical thickness between migraineurs who had aura and those who did not, but the area of cortical thickening in V3A corresponded to the source of cortical spreading depression previously identified in a person who had migraine with aura. The researchers also found differences between the white matter (the part of the brain that transfers information between different regions of the gray matter) immediately below the V3A and MT+ areas in the migraineurs and the controls but again not between the two groups of migraineurs.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This study provides new information about migraine. First, it identifies structural changes in the brains of people who have migraines. Until now, it has been thought that abnormal brain function causes migraine but that migraineurs have a normal brain structure. The observed structural differences might either account for or be caused by the hyperexcitability that triggers migraines. Because migraine runs in families, examining the brains of children of migraineurs as they grow up might indicate which of these options is correct, although it is possible that abnormalities in brain areas not examined here actually trigger migraines. Second, the study addresses a controversial question about migraine: Is migraine with aura the same as migraine without aura? The similar brain changes in both types of migraine suggest that they are one disorder. Third, the abnormalities in areas MT+ and V3A could help to explain why migraineurs have problems with visual processing even in between attacks. Finally, this study suggests that it might be possible to develop a noninvasive test to help doctors diagnose migraine.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030402.
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has several pages on migraine
The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke offers patient information on migraine and other headaches
The NHS Direct Online contains patient information on migraine from the UK National Health Service
MAGNUM provides information from The US National Migraine Association
The Migraine Trust is a UK charity that supports research and provides support for patients
The Migraine Aura Foundation is a site about aura that includes a section on art and aura
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030402
PMCID: PMC1609120  PMID: 17048979
6.  Association between migraine and asthma: matched case-control study. 
BACKGROUND: Earlier studies have suggested a link between asthma and severe headache, and also between migraine and wheezing illness. Recent analysis have also shown an increase of asthma among cases with a prior history of migraine but without a history of hay fever, allergic rhinitis or eczema. AIM: To examine whether there is an association between migraine and asthma in the United Kingdom. DESIGN OF STUDY: Matched case-control study using the General Practice Research Database (GPRD). SETTING: Practices in the United Kingdom providing data on 5,110,619 patients to the GPRD. METHOD: The subjects were the patients with one or more diagnoses of migraine plus treatment for migraine. Each case was matched by general practice, sex, and age, with one control who had never been given a diagnosis of migraine. Case and control groups were compared for prevalence of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respiratory symptoms treated with inhalers or hay fever. Investigations were carried out to determine whether the association between migraine and asthma was stronger among patients with hayfever or those without hayfever, and whether patients with migraine had an increased prescription of other (non-migraine and non-asthma) medications. RESULTS: Among 64 678 case-control pairs, the relative risk of asthma in patients with migraine was 1.59 (95% CI = 1.54 to 1.65) among definite cases, and 0.75 (95% CI = 0.67 to 0.83) among those whose selection as case included beta-blocker prophylaxis. Among definite migraine cases, relative risks of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respiratory symptoms, eczema, and hay fever (pollinosis), were all raised (at 1.22, 1.85, 1.55, and 1.67, respectively). The association between migraine and asthma was stronger in patients without a diagnosis of hay fever, than in those with hayfever (relative risk = 1.32 and 1.19, respectively). The relative risk of prescription for a range of non-migraine, non-asthma medications was raised, the exception being anti-diabetic medication. CONCLUSION: This large case-control study provides evidence for an association between migraine and asthma. Frequent attendance at a general practice surgery may confound this association. However, if the association is real, its elucidation may help the understanding of disease mechanisms shared by migraine and asthma.
PMCID: PMC1314412  PMID: 12236275
7.  Application of ICHD-II Criteria in a Headache Clinic of China 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e50898.
Background
China has the huge map and the largest population in the world. Previous studies on the prevalence and classification of headaches were conducted based on the general population, however, similar studies among the Chinese outpatient population are scarce. This study aimed to analyze the characteristics of 1843 headache patients enrolled in a North China headache clinic of the General Hospital for Chinese People's Liberation Army from October 2011 to May 2012, with the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition (ICHD-II).
Methods and Results
Personal interviews were carried out and a detailed questionnaire was used to collect medical records including age, sex and headache characteristics. Patients came from 28 regions of China with the median age of 40.9 (9–80) years and the female/male ratio of 1.67/1. The primary headaches (78.4%) were classified as the following: migraine (39.1%), tension-type headache (32.5%), trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (5.3%) and other primary headache (1.5%). Among the rest patients, 12.9% were secondary headaches, 5.9% were cranial neuralgias and 2.5% were unspecified or not elsewhere classified. Fourteen point nine percent (275/1843) were given an additional diagnosis of chronic daily headache, including medication-overuse headache (MOH, 49.5%), chronic tension-type headache (CTTH, 32.7%) and chronic migraine (CM, 13.5%). The visual analogue scale (VAS) score of TTH with MOH was significantly higher than that of CTTH (6.8±2.0 vs 5.6±2.0, P<0.001). The similar result was also observed in VAS score between migraine with MOH and CM (8.0±1.5 vs 7.0±1.5, P = 0.004). The peak age at onset of TTH for male and female were both in the 3rd decade of life. However, the age distribution at onset of migraine shows an obvious sex difference, i.e. the 2nd decade for females and the 1st decade for males.
Conclusions/Significance
This study revealed the characteristics of the headache clinic outpatients in a tertiary hospital of North China that migraine is the most common diagnosis. Furthermore, most headaches in this patient population can be classified using ICHD-II criteria.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050898
PMCID: PMC3519829  PMID: 23239993
8.  GREATER FREQUENCY OF DEPRESSION ASSOCIATED WITH CHRONIC PRIMARY HEADACHES THAN CHRONIC POST-TRAUMATIC HEADACHES 
Objective
To compare the prevalence of co-morbid depression between patients with chronic primary headache syndromes and chronic post-traumatic headaches.
Method
A prospective cross-sectional analysis of all patients presenting sequentially to a community-based general neurology clinic during a 2-year period for evaluation of chronic headache pain was conducted. Headache diagnosis was determined according to the International Headache Society’s Headache Classification criteria. Depression was determined through a combination of scores on the clinician administered Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and patients’ self-report. An additional group of patients who suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI) but did not develop post-traumatic headaches was included for comparison.
Results
A total of 83 patients were included in the study: 45 with chronic primary headaches (24 with chronic migraine headaches, 21 with chronic tension headaches), 24 with chronic post-traumatic headaches, and 14 with TBI but no headaches. Depression occurred less frequently among those with chronic post-traumatic headaches (33.3%) compared to those with chronic migraine (66.7%) and chronic tension (52.4%) headaches (Chi-Square = 7.68; df = 3; p = 0.053), and did not significantly differ from TBI patients without headaches. A multivariate logistic regression model using depression as the outcome variable and including headache diagnosis, gender, ethnicity, and alcohol and illicit substance use was statistically significant (Chi-Square = 27.201; df = 10; p < 0.01) and identified primary headache (migraine and tension) diagnoses (Score = 7.349; df = 1; p = 0.04) and female gender (Score = 15.281; df = 1; p < 0.01) as significant predictor variables. The overall model accurately predicted presence of co-morbid depression in 74.7% of the cases.
Conclusions
Co-morbid depression occurs less frequently among patients with chronic post-traumatic headaches and TBI without headaches than among those with chronic primary headaches.
PMCID: PMC4326262  PMID: 24066406
chronic pain; depression; headache
9.  Classification and clinical features of headache patients: an outpatient clinic study from China 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(5):561-567.
This study aimed to analyze and classify the clinical features of headache in neurological outpatients. A cross-sectional study was conducted consecutively from March to May 2010 for headache among general neurological outpatients attending the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University. Personal interviews were carried out and a questionnaire was used to collect medical records. Diagnosis of headache was according to the International classification of headache disorders, 2nd edition (ICHD-II). Headache patients accounted for 19.5% of the general neurology clinic outpatients. A total of 843 (50.1%) patients were defined as having primary headache, 454 (27%) secondary headache, and 386 (23%) headache not otherwise specified (headache NOS). For primary headache, 401 (23.8%) had migraine, 399 (23.7%) tension-type headache (TTH), 8 (0.5%) cluster headache and 35 (2.1%) other headache types. Overall, migraine patients suffered (1) more severe headache intensity, (2) longer than 6 years of headache history and (3) more common analgesic medications use than TTH ones (p < 0.001).TTH patients had more frequent episodes of headaches than migraine patients, and typically headache frequency exceeded 15 days/month (p < 0.001); 22.8% of primary headache patients were defined as chronic daily headache. Almost 20% of outpatient visits to the general neurology department were of headache patients, predominantly primary headache of migraine and TTH. In outpatient headaches, more attention should be given to headache intensity and duration of headache history for migraine patients, while more attention to headache frequency should be given for the TTH ones.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0360-2
PMCID: PMC3173628  PMID: 21744226
Outpatient; Headache; Cross-sectional study; Clinical feature; Migraine
10.  Classification and clinical features of headache patients: an outpatient clinic study from China 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(5):561-567.
This study aimed to analyze and classify the clinical features of headache in neurological outpatients. A cross-sectional study was conducted consecutively from March to May 2010 for headache among general neurological outpatients attending the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University. Personal interviews were carried out and a questionnaire was used to collect medical records. Diagnosis of headache was according to the International classification of headache disorders, 2nd edition (ICHD-II). Headache patients accounted for 19.5% of the general neurology clinic outpatients. A total of 843 (50.1%) patients were defined as having primary headache, 454 (27%) secondary headache, and 386 (23%) headache not otherwise specified (headache NOS). For primary headache, 401 (23.8%) had migraine, 399 (23.7%) tension-type headache (TTH), 8 (0.5%) cluster headache and 35 (2.1%) other headache types. Overall, migraine patients suffered (1) more severe headache intensity, (2) longer than 6 years of headache history and (3) more common analgesic medications use than TTH ones (p < 0.001).TTH patients had more frequent episodes of headaches than migraine patients, and typically headache frequency exceeded 15 days/month (p < 0.001); 22.8% of primary headache patients were defined as chronic daily headache. Almost 20% of outpatient visits to the general neurology department were of headache patients, predominantly primary headache of migraine and TTH. In outpatient headaches, more attention should be given to headache intensity and duration of headache history for migraine patients, while more attention to headache frequency should be given for the TTH ones.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0360-2
PMCID: PMC3173628  PMID: 21744226
Outpatient; Headache; Cross-sectional study; Clinical feature; Migraine
11.  Frequency of migraine in patients with allergic rhinitis 
Objectives: Allergic rhinitis (AR) is an IgE mediated disease which is released by activation of mast cells and basophils, and often leads to sinus headache. Histamine which is the key mediator in the pathogenesis of AR, also plays an important role in the pathogenesis of migraine with nitric oxide (NO). Aim of our study was to investigate the frequency of migraine in patients with AR.
Methodology: Headache assessment and neurological examination was performed on patients diagnosed as AR in the outpatient ear nose and throat clinic with age-matched controls. Participants with headache were classified according to the International Headache Society criteria, and migraine frequency was investigated in the patients with AR and control groups.
Results: Migraine headache was detected in 50% of the patients with AR. Among these, 95% were migraine without aura, and 5% were migraine with aura. Migraine frequency in the control group was 18.75% in the control group, and all was migraine without aura. Migraine frequency in the patients with AR was four times higher when compared with the control group.
Conclusion: While a histamine and IgE associated common mechanism is responsible in the pathogenesis of AR and migraine, not only sinus headache but also migraine headache should be kept in mind. Headache assessment of the patients with AR, and in case of headache existence, referral of these patients to neurology outpatient clinics for differential diagnosis and, to maintain appropriate therapy should not be forgotten.
PMCID: PMC3809225  PMID: 24353570
Allergic rhinitis; Histamine; Nitric oxide; Migraine
12.  A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Comprehensive Migraine Intervention Prior to Discharge From an Emergency Department 
Objectives
Patients who use an emergency department (ED) for acute migraine headaches have higher migraine disability scores and lower socioeconomic status and are unlikely to have used a migraine-specific medication prior to presentation to the ED. The objective was to determine if a comprehensive migraine intervention, delivered just prior to ED discharge, could improve migraine impact scores 1 month after the ED visit.
Methods
This was a randomized controlled trial of a comprehensive migraine intervention versus typical care among patients who presented to an ED for management of acute migraine. At the time of discharge, for patients randomized to comprehensive care, the authors’ protocol reinforced their diagnosis, shared a migraine education presentation from the National Library of Medicine, provided them with six tablets of sumatriptan 100 mg and 14 tablets of naproxen 500 mg, and if they wished, provided them with an expedited free appointment to our institution's headache clinic. Patients randomized to typical care received the care their attending emergency physicians (EPs) felt was appropriate. The primary outcome was a between-group comparison of the Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) score, a validated headache assessment instrument, 1 month after ED discharge. Secondary outcomes included an assessment of satisfaction with headache care and frequency of use of migraine-specific medication within that 1-month period.
Results
Over a 19-month period, 50 migraine patients were enrolled. One-month follow-up was successfully obtained in 92% of patients. Baseline characteristics were comparable. One-month HIT-6 scores in the two groups were nearly identical (59 vs. 56, 95% confidence interval [CI] for difference of 3 = –5 to 11), as was dissatisfaction with overall headache care (17% vs. 18%, 95% CI for difference of 1% = –22% to 24%). Patients randomized to the comprehensive intervention were more likely to be using triptans or migraine-specific therapy (43% vs. 0%, 95% CI for difference of 43% = 20 to 63%) 1 month later.
Conclusions
A comprehensive migraine intervention, when compared to typical care, did not improve HIT-6 scores (a validated measure of the effect of migraine on one's daily life) 1 month after ED discharge. Future work is needed to define a migraine intervention that is practical and useful in an ED, where many underserved patients, of necessity, present for care.
doi:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2012.01458.x
PMCID: PMC3473153  PMID: 22994458
13.  The prognosis of childhood abdominal migraine 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2001;84(5):415-418.
AIMS—To determine the clinical course of childhood abdominal migraine, seven to 10 years after the diagnosis.
METHODS—A total of 54 children with abdominal migraine were studied; 35 were identified from a population survey carried out on Aberdeen schoolchildren between 1991 and 1993, and 19 from outpatient records of children in the same age group who had attended the Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital. Controls were 54 children who did not have abdominal pain in childhood, matched for age and sex, obtained from either the population survey or the patient administration system. Main outcome measures were presence or resolution of abdominal migraine and past or present history of headache fulfilling the International Headache Society (IHS) criteria for the diagnosis of migraine.
RESULTS—Abdominal migraine had resolved in 31 cases (61%). Seventy per cent of cases with abdominal migraine were either current (52%) or previous (18%) sufferers from headaches that fulfilled the IHS criteria for migraine, compared to 20% of the controls.
CONCLUSIONS—These results support the concept of abdominal migraine as a migraine prodrome, and suggest that our diagnostic criteria for the condition are robust.


doi:10.1136/adc.84.5.415
PMCID: PMC1718772  PMID: 11316687
14.  Classification and Clinical Features of Headache Disorders in Pakistan: A Retrospective Review of Clinical Data 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(6):e5827.
Background
Morbidity associated with primary headache disorders is a major public health problem with an overall prevalence of 46%. Tension-type headache and migraine are the two most prevalent causes. However, headache has not been sufficiently studied as a cause of morbidity in the developing world. Literature on prevalence and classification of these disorders in South Asia is scarce. The aim of this study is to describe the classification and clinical features of headache patients who seek medical advice in Pakistan.
Methods and Results
Medical records of 255 consecutive patients who presented to a headache clinic at a tertiary care hospital were reviewed. Demographic details, onset and lifetime duration of illness, pattern of headache, associated features and family history were recorded. International Classification of Headache Disorders version 2 was applied.
66% of all patients were women and 81% of them were between 16 and 49 years of age. Migraine was the most common disorder (206 patients) followed by tension-type headache (58 patients), medication-overuse headache (6 patients) and cluster headache (4 patients). Chronic daily headache was seen in 99 patients. Patients with tension-type headache suffered from more frequent episodes of headache than patients with migraine (p<0.001). Duration of each headache episode was higher in women with menstrually related migraine (p = 0.015). Median age at presentation and at onset was lower in patients with migraine who reported a first-degree family history of the disease (p = 0.003 and p<0.001 respectively).
Conclusions/Significance
Patients who seek medical advice for headache in Pakistan are usually in their most productive ages. Migraine and tension-type headache are the most common clinical presentations of headache. Onset of migraine is earlier in patients with first-degree family history. Menstrually related migraine affects women with headache episodes of longer duration than other patients and it warrants special therapeutic consideration. Follow-up studies to describe epidemiology and burden of headache in Pakistan are needed.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005827
PMCID: PMC2688080  PMID: 19503794
15.  Prevalence and characteristics of migraine in medical students and its impact on their daily activities 
Background:
Migraine is a common neurological disorder with significant impact on quality of life. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and characteristics of migraine headaches in medical students, to measure its impact on their life, and to assess their knowledge about the ailment. Information about lifestyle variables was also collected.
Materials and Methods:
All medical students who confirmed of having headache for more than 1 year formed the study group. Students filled a detailed questionnaire focusing on demographics, pain characteristics, accompanying factors, triggers, and family history of migraine. Lifestyle variables were enquired and migraine associated disability was assessed by MIDAS (Migraine Disability Assessment). The diagnosis of migraine was made according to the International Headache Society criteria. Results are expressed in n = numbers and percentage.
Results:
Sixty-eight percent of medical students had headache. The prevalence of migraine in the whole cohort was 28%; however, of the headache group, migraine constituted 42%. There was a female preponderance. One-fourth of the students had weekly or daily attacks with 31% students reporting increase in their headache intensity and frequency. Forty-four percent of students had severe headaches. Dizziness, allodynia, and neck stiffness were reported as accompanying symptoms. Trigger factors were identified in 99% students, predominant of which were poor sleep hygiene, environmental changes, head movements, and mental stress. Only 4% of students did regular exercise. Twenty-seven percent of students reported self-medication use of analgesics. One-fourth of the students had migraine-associated disability but only 6% realized that they had migraine.
Conclusion:
Our study found a high prevalence of headache with migraine in medical students. The students’ awareness of the disease was very low with one-fourth of the students resorting to self-medication. Our study identified previously less-recognized triggers like head movement and accompanying symptoms like neck stiffness. Migraine-attributed burden was high in medical students.
doi:10.4103/0972-2327.112472
PMCID: PMC3724079  PMID: 23956569
Impact on life; medical students; migraine
16.  Migraine is comorbid with multiple sclerosis and associated with a more symptomatic MS course 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2010;11(5):417-425.
The objectives of this study were: (1) to assess relative frequency of migraine in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients using the validated self-administered diagnostic questionnaire, and to compare the migraine rates in MS outpatients to age- and gender-matched historical population controls; (2) to compare clinical and radiographic characteristics in MS patients with migraine and headache-free MS patients. We conducted a cross-sectional study to assess the demographic profiles, headache features and clinical characteristics of MS patients attending a MS clinic using a questionnaire based on the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) study. We compared the relative frequency of migraine in MS clinic patients and AMPP cohort. We also compared clinical and radiographic features in MS patients with migraine to an MS control group without headache. Among 204 MS patients, the relative frequency of migraine was threefold higher than in population controls both for women [55.7 vs. 17.1%; prevalence ratio (PR) = 3.26, p < 0.001] and men (18.4 vs. 5.6%; PR = 3.29, p < 0.001). In a series of logistic regression models that controlled for age, gender, disease duration, β-interferon use, and depression, migraine in MS patients was significantly associated (p < 0.01) with trigeminal and occipital neuralgia, facial pain, Lhermitte’s sign, temporomandibular joint pain, non-headache pain and a past history of depression. Migraine status was not significantly associated with disability on patient-derived disability steps scale or T2 lesion burden on brain MRI. Migraine is three-times more common in MS clinic patients than in general population. MS–migraine group was more symptomatic than the MS–no headache group.
doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0237-9
PMCID: PMC3452278  PMID: 20625916
Migraine; Multiple sclerosis; Magnetic resonance imaging; Symptomatology; Comorbidity; Cross-sectional study
17.  Primary headaches, attention deficit disorder and learning disabilities in children and adolescents 
Background
Primary headaches and Learning difficulties are both common in the pediatric population. The goal of our study was to assess the prevalence of learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder in children and adolescents with migraine and tension type headaches.
Methods
Retrospective review of medical records of children and adolescents who presented with headache to the outpatient pediatric neurology clinics of Bnai-Zion Medical Center and Meyer Children’s Hospital, Haifa, during the years 2009–2010. Demographics, Headache type, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities and academic achievements were assessed.
Results
243 patients met the inclusion criteria and were assessed: 135 (55.6%) females and 108 (44.4%) males. 44% were diagnosed with migraine (35.8% of the males, 64.2% of the females, p = 0.04), 47.7% were diagnosed with tension type headache (50.4% of the males, 49.6% of the females). Among patients presenting with headache for the first time, 24% were formerly diagnosed with learning disabilities and 28% were diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADHD). ADHD was more prevalent among patients with tension type headache when compared with patients with migraine (36.5% vs. 19.8%, p = 0.006). Poor to average school academic performance was more prevalent among children with tension type headache, whereas good to excellent academic performance was more prevalent among those with migraine.
Conclusions
Learning disabilities and ADHD are more common in children and adolescents who are referred for neurological assessment due to primary headaches than is described in the general pediatric population. There is an association between headache diagnosis and school achievements.
doi:10.1186/1129-2377-14-54
PMCID: PMC3698063  PMID: 23806023
Migraine; Tension type headache; Attention deficit disorder; Learning disabilities
18.  Frequency of Migraine as a Chief Complaint in Otolaryngology Outpatient Practice 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:173165.
Objective. To identify the frequency of typical (headache and dizziness) and common atypical (ear fullness, pressure, pain, tinnitus, facial fullness, and nasal congestion) migraine symptoms as chief complaints among patients presenting to otolaryngology clinic. Methods. This is a descriptive study of prospectively collected data from a general otolaryngology practice. Typical migraine presentations were diagnosed by applying international headache society (IHS) criteria for migraine headache and Neuhauser's criteria for migrainous vertigo. Atypical otologic and rhinologic migraine symptoms were diagnosed using individualized criteria. Charts were reviewed at 6-month interval from the first presentation. Results. Out of 1002 consecutive patients, 10.8% presented with “migrainous chief complaint.” All migrainous chief complaint patients had a history of headache but not all of them presented with headache. Corrected female to male ratio in the migraine group was 3 to 1; age distributions were significantly different between the migraine and nonmigraine groups by applying t-test. Out of the atypical complaints, 86% of the patients had a history of concomitant typical presentation. Conclusion. Actual diagnostic criteria for migraine do not satisfy the diversity of its presentation. Investigating the history of migraine is enough to diagnose most atypical presentations. Sound knowledge about migraine seems essential for any ENT practitioner.
doi:10.1155/2015/173165
PMCID: PMC4324102
19.  Shared loci for migraine and epilepsy on chromosomes 14q12-q23 and 12q24.2-q24.3 
Neurology  2012;78(3):202-209.
Objectives:
To describe clinical characteristics and to identify susceptibility loci for epilepsy and migraine in a Finnish family with a complex phenotype.
Methods:
Participating family members were interviewed and medical files were reviewed. The seizure classification was made according to International League Against Epilepsy criteria. Migraine diagnosis was made using the validated Finnish Migraine Specific Questionnaire for Family Studies and criteria according to the current International Classification of Headache Disorders-II. DNA samples were obtained from 56 family members and nonparametric genome-wide linkage analyses were performed using 382 polymorphic microsatellite markers. The most promising loci were fine-mapped with additional microsatellite markers.
Results:
Clinical data were obtained from 60 family members of whom 12 (20%) had idiopathic epileptic seizures. Eight of those 12 (67%) also had migraine. Altogether 33 of the 60 family members (55%) had migraine. Significant evidence of linkage was found between a locus on 14q12-q23 and migraine (p = 0.0001). Suggestive evidence of linkage in this region was also found for epilepsy with generalized tonic-clonic seizures (p = 0.0034). In addition, significant evidence of linkage was found at a locus on 12q24.2-q24.3 (p < 0.001) for migraine alone and for the combined phenotype of migraine and epilepsy.
Conclusions:
Our data suggest the occurrence of common susceptibility loci for epilepsy and migraine on chromosomes 14q12-q23 and 12q24.2-q24.3, implicating a shared genetic etiology for these 2 diseases.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e31823fcd87
PMCID: PMC3653199  PMID: 22218271
20.  Refractory migraine in a headache clinic population 
BMC Neurology  2011;11:94.
Background
Many migraineurs who seek care in headache clinics are refractory to treatment, despite advances in headache therapies. Epidemiology is poorly characterized, because diagnostic criteria for refractory migraine were not available until recently. We aimed to determine the frequency of refractory migraine in patients attended in the Headache Unit in a tertiary care center, according to recently proposed criteria.
Methods
The study population consisted of a consecutive sample of 370 patients (60.8% females) with a mean age of 43 years (range 14-86) evaluated for the first time in our headache unit over a one-year period (between October 2008 and October 2009). We recorded information on clinical features, previous treatments, Migraine Disability Assessment Score (MIDAS), and final diagnosis.
Results
Overall migraine and tension-type headache were found in 46.4% and 20.5% of patients, respectively. Refractory migraine was found in 5.1% of patients. In refractory migraineurs, the mean MIDAS score was 96, and 36.8% were medication-overusers.
Conclusions
Refractory migraine is a relatively common and very disabling condition between the patients attended in a headache unit. The proposed operational criteria may be useful in identifying those patients who require care in headache units, the selection of candidates for combinations of prophylactic drugs or invasive treatments such as neurostimulation, but also to facilitate clinical studies in this patient group.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-11-94
PMCID: PMC3163184  PMID: 21806790
21.  Migraine and Tension-Type Headache in Children and Adolescents Presenting to Neurology Clinics 
Iranian Journal of Pediatrics  2013;23(5):536-540.
Objective
Headache is one of the most common neurologic problems in children and adolescents. Primary headache including migraine and tension-type headache comprises the vast majority of headaches and are associated with marked incidence, prevalence, and individual and social cost. We aimed to assess demographic characteristics and to compare some factors related to primary headaches in children/ adolescents presented to neurology clinics of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences.
Methods
Children from 4 to 15 years of age with the diagnosis of primary headache (migraine or tension-type headaches) who presented to the neurology clinics affiliated to Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran from March 2009 to October 2011 are included in this cross-sectional study. Data regarding the type of headache, history of atopy, peripartum asphyxia, and breast feeding, family history of headache and the socioeconomic status of the family were collected. The diagnosis was based on the international headache society diagnostic criteria for the primary headache disorders.
Findings
One hundred ninety children (107 females) with primary headache (88 patients with migraine and 102 patients with tension type headache) enrolled in the study. Peripartum asphyxia, history of atopy, family history of headache and low socioeconomic status (SES) were more common in patients with migraine (P-values: 0.007, 0.01, 0.001, 0.003; respectively).
Conclusion
Physicians need to extent their knowledge regarding the primary headaches. Peripartum asphyxia, history of atopy, headache in parents and low SES have been shown in the present study to be more prevalent in patients with migraine as compared to tension-type headache.
PMCID: PMC4006502  PMID: 24800013
Asphyxia; Atopy; Children; Migraine; Tension-Type Headache
22.  Comparison of validity and reliability of the Migraine disability assessment (MIDAS) versus headache impact test (HIT) in an Iranian population 
Iranian Journal of Neurology  2011;10(3-4):39-42.
Background
Migraine is one of the most common headaches that affect 11% or more adult population. Recently, researchers have designed two questionnaires, namely Headache Impact Test (HIT) and Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS), with the aim of improving migraine care. These two tests provide a standard measurement about migraine's effects on people's life style that divide patients into 4 groups (grades) based on headaches intensity. The aim of this study was to compare the validity and reliability of these two tests.
Methods
This study was designed as a multicenter, descriptive study to compare validity and reliability of Persian version of MIDAS and HIT questionnaires in 240 males and females with a migraine diagnosis according to criteria for headache and facial pain of the International Headache Society (IHS). The patients were enrolled in the study from 3 neurology clinics in Isfahan, Iran, between July 2004 and January 2005 and were evaluated at baseline (visit 1) and 4 weeks later (visit 2).
Results
According to our study, there was a high correlation between two tests (r = 0.94). This decreased their MIDAS grade in comparison to their grade HIT questionnaire.
Conclusion
These findings demonstrated that Persian version of HIT have the same validity and reliability as MIDAS. Replying to HIT questionnaire was easier than MIDAS for Iranian patients. Physicians can reliably use the Persian translation of both MIDAS and HIT questionnaires to define the severity of illness and its treatment strategy as a self-administered report by migraine patients. However, we recommend HIT for its simplicity in headache clinics.
PMCID: PMC3829228  PMID: 24250844
Migraine; Headache Impact Test; Migraine Disability Assessment; Validity; Reliability
23.  Familial Clustering of Migraine, Episodic Vertigo, and Ménière’s Disease 
Objective
To evaluate the association between migraine, episodic vertigo, and Ménière’s disease in families.
Study Design
Clinical report.
Setting
University Neurotology Clinic.
Patients
Index patients identified with Ménière’s disease and migraine and their family members.
Intervention
Structured interview to assess a diagnosis of migraine, episodic vertigo, and Ménière’s disease in 6 families. Genotyping was performed on 3 sets of twins to analyze monozygosity or dizygosity.
Main Outcome Measures
Clinical history of migraine, episodic vertigo, and Ménière’s disease.
Results
Six index patients and 57 family members were interviewed either by a senior neurologist in person over the phone by a trained study coordinator. An additional 6 family members completed questionnaires by mail. All 6 index patients had Ménière’s disease and migraine. Twenty-six (41%) of the 63 relatives met International Classification of Headache Disorders II criteria for migraine headaches. Thirteen (50%) of these 26 experienced migraine with aura. Three others experienced typical aura without headache. Seventeen (27%) of 63 family members experienced recurrent spells of spontaneous episodic vertigo. There was one twin pair in each of 3 families; 2 pairs were monozygotic and one was dizygotic. In each twin pair, one twin had migraine and Ménière’s disease, whereas the other experienced migraine and episodic vertigo without auditory symptoms.
Conclusion
The frequent association of episodic vertigo, migraine, and Ménière’s disease in closely related individuals, including identical twins supports the heritability of a migraine-Ménière’s syndrome, with variable expression of the individual features of hearing loss, episodic vertigo, and migraine headaches.
doi:10.1097/mao.0b013e31815c2abb
PMCID: PMC2820370  PMID: 18046258
Episodic vertigo; Ménière’s disease; Migraine
24.  Validation of a guideline-based decision support system for the diagnosis of primary headache disorders based on ICHD-3 beta 
Background
China may have the largest population of headache sufferers and therefore the most serious burden of disease worldwide. However, the rate of diagnosis for headache disorders is extremely low, possibly due to the relative complexity of headache subtypes and diagnostic criteria. The use of computerized clinical decision support systems (CDSS) seems to be a better choice to solve this problem.
Methods
We developed a headache CDSS based on ICHD-3 beta and validated it in a prospective study that included 543 headache patients from the International Headache Center at the Chinese PLA General hospital, Beijing, China.
Results
We found that the CDSS correctly recognized 159/160 (99.4%) of migraine without aura, 36/36 (100%) of migraine with aura, 20/21 (95.2%) of chronic migraine, and 37/59 (62.7%) of probable migraine. This system also correctly identified 157/180 (87.2%) of patients with tension-type headache (TTH), of which infrequent episodic TTH was diagnosed in 12/13 (92.3%), frequent episodic TTH was diagnosed in 99/101 (98.0%), chronic TTH in 18/20 (90.0%), and probable TTH in 28/46 (60.9%). The correct diagnostic rates of cluster headache and new daily persistent headache (NDPH) were 90.0% and 100%, respectively. In addition, the system recognized 32/32 (100%) of patients with medication overuse headache.
Conclusions
With high diagnostic accuracy for most of the primary and some types of secondary headaches, this system can be expected to help general practitioners at primary hospitals improve diagnostic accuracy and thereby reduce the burden of headache in China.
doi:10.1186/1129-2377-15-40
PMCID: PMC4074417  PMID: 24934331
Headache; Computer-assisted diagnosis; Clinical decision support; ICHD-3 beta; SAGE
25.  Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of migraine in clinical practice 
OBJECTIVE: To provide physicians and allied health care professionals with guidelines for the diagnosis and management of migraine in clinical practice. OPTIONS: The full range and quality of diagnostic and therapeutic methods available for the management of migraine. OUTCOMES: Improvement in the diagnosis and treatment of migraine, which will lead to a reduction in suffering, increased productivity and decreased economic burden. EVIDENCE AND VALUES: The creation of the guidelines followed a needs assessment by members of the Canadian Headache Society and included a statement of objectives; development of guidelines by multidisciplinary working groups using information from literature reviews and other resources; comparison of alternative clinical pathways and description of how published data were analysed; definition of the level of evidence for data in each case; evaluation and revision of the guidelines at a consensus conference held in Ottawa on Oct. 27-29, 1995; redrafting and insertion of tables showing key variables and data from various studies and tables of data with recommendations; and reassessment by all conference participants. BENEFITS, HARMS AND COSTS: Accuracy in diagnosis is a major factor in improving therapeutic effectiveness. Improvement in the precise diagnosis of migraine, coupled with a rational plan for the treatment of acute attacks and for prophylactic therapy, is likely to lead to substantial benefits in both human and economic terms. RECOMMENDATIONS: The diagnosis of migraine can be improved by using modified criteria of the International Headache Society as well as a semistructured patient interview technique. Appropriate treatment of symptoms should take into account the severity of the migraine attack, since most patients will have attacks of differing severity and can learn to use medication appropriate for each attack. When headaches are frequent or particularly severe, prophylactic therapy should be considered. Both the avoidance of migraine trigger factors and the application of nonpharmacological therapies play important roles in overall migraine management and will be addressed at a later date. VALIDATION: The guidelines are based on consensus of Canadian experts in neurology, emergency medicine, psychiatry, psychology, family medicine and pharmacology, and consumers. Previous guidelines did not exist. Field testing of the guidelines is in progress.
PMCID: PMC1227329  PMID: 9145054

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